Congratulations to the 2018 NGC Registry Award Winners

Posted on 1/11/2019

The NGC Registry continues to grow and now includes more than 112,000 sets. NGC Registry participants, we thank you for sharing your collections with us!

Each year, NGC recognizes outstanding achievement in Registry Set building. Ten winners were selected in each of our Best Classic Set and Best Modern Set categories along with five Best Presented Set winners and five Custom Set winners. In addition, we named five winners in the Achievement in Collecting category and three winners for Outstanding Collectors Journal.

Our team of judges reviewed all of the top sets across every category in the Registry. After much consideration, they selected the following sets. Congratulations to our winners!

Best Classic Sets

J & L Commemoratives — J & L

Who won last year? Click here to view our 2017 Winners

This set represents near perfection in the assembling of a longtime favorite among collectors—the 144-piece series of United States silver commemorative coins 1892-1954. All pieces are present, and they are supplemented by the two varieties of the Norse-American medal of 1925. The NGC-certified grades of these coins are unbeatable, and it's no surprise that this collection holds the Number One position in NGC's Registry. Some standout rarities include the 1893 Isabella Quarter grading NGC MS 69, the 1926 American Sesquicentennial Half Dollar (NGC MS 66), the rare Boone 1935-S Half with 1934 added (NGC MS 68) and a tremendous condition rarity, the 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exposition Half Dollar (NGC MS 68).

Napoleon I Type Set — ColonialCoinsUK
The goal of this collector is to complete a type set of all the coins struck by France under the rule of Napoleon I, 1802-15. Comprising about 30 issues from the copper five centimes to the gold 40 francs, the set is nearly complete, presently lacking just three entries. Nearly all are Mint State or close to it, an amazing feat given the rarity of many types. Among the highlights of these NGC-certified coins are the 1808I 1/4 franc (NGC MS 63), the 1807A African Head two francs (NGC AU 55), the rare and historic 1815A "Hundred Days" two francs (NGC MS 62) and the 1807M gold 40 francs (NGC AU 55).

Piefort's Gold Peso Set — Piefort
The 22 entries that comprise this Registry Set are described by its owner as a "very popular set for Costa Rican collectors." It's easy to see why, given the broad range of denominations from one to 20 pesos, all struck in gold. The owner provides an excellent essay on the history and collecting of this series, and many of the coins have illustrious pedigrees. As noted by this collector the highlights include the 1866 GW two pesos (NGC MS 64), the 1867 GW two pesos (NGC MS 63), the 1869 GW five pesos (NGC MS 63), the 1876 GW 10 pesos (NGC MS 63) and the premier rarity, the 1873 GW 20 pesos (NGC AU 58). Each individual entry is described thoroughly, providing a complete primer on the series.

Martin S. Collection of Swiss 20 Francs Gold Vreneli — libertad1998
OK, this writer was stumped by the term "Vreneli," but the owner of the set explains in its essay that it is a shorthand term for the gold 20 francs series of 1897-1949. Formerly viewed as simply bullion pieces, the owner reveals how rare some issues are in higher grades. Some of the set's highlights are as follows: 1897 and 1905 (both NGC MS 67 and finest certified), 1906 (NGC MS 65) and 1909 (NGC MS 66, tied with one other for finest certified). Indeed, this collector's coins include 13 "finest certified" grades among the 29 total entries.

Argentina Sunface Crowns — Stunmai
After achieving its independence from Spain, Argentina embarked on a new series of coins. The crown pieces were primarily the traditional eight reales, but the series also includes two entries from 1815 denominated as eight soles, a reference to prominent sunface displayed in the design. This set spans 1813-37, and 19 of the 21 coins in it have been assembled herein. Mint State pieces are very rare, but this collector has two—1815PTS F (NGC MS 62) and 1827RA P, six laurel pairs (NGC MS 61). Other outstanding entries include the rare 1827RA P with seven laurel pairs (NGC XF 40) and 1830RA P (NGC AU 50).

RRS #3 — Sadler
This delightful collection includes one entry for each date in the Mercury Dime series, 1916-45. All are certified gems, most being at the very high end of grading for their respective issues. All three mints are represented, with a strong leaning toward scarce Denver and San Francisco Mint dimes. Top-scoring highlights include the key-date 1916-D (NGC MS 67 Full Bands), 1918-D and 1919-D (both NGC MS 66 FB), 1921-D, 1925-S and 1926-D (all NGC MS 67 FB). Any one of these coins would be the jewel of a high grade set of Mercury Dimes. Perhaps the most intriguing entry is the 1945(P) issue. Ordinarily a very common coin, this NGC MS 67 FB piece is extremely rare with Full Bands.

Ct3 — Ct coins
There was a time when Lincoln Cents dated 1934-58 were traded almost solely by the roll, but those days are long gone. The superb set presented here is complete for all mints in very high certified grades. Half or more of the entries carry + signs, indicating that they are at the high end of their numeric levels. Standout entries include 1934(P) and 1935(P), both NGC-graded MS 68 RD, 1935-S (NGC MS 67 RD), 1936-D, 1938-D and 1939-D (all NGC MS 68 RD), 1943-S Steel (NGC MS 68) and 1944-D (NGC MS 68 RD). Among the later dates top condition rarities include 1955 DDO (NGC MS 65 RD) and 1957(P) (NGC MS 67 RD).

W.I. P Mint $3 Gold — Whidbey Island Collection
The curious USA three-dollar gold piece was struck annually at the Philadelphia Mint in ever-dwindling numbers from 1854 through 1889. The collection is complete for all 36 pieces grading Mint State or very close to it. This set represents quite an achievement, as all but three of these dates are quite scarce. Among the more remarkable specimens are 1857 (NGC MS 63), the low-mintage issues of 1865 (NGC AU 58) and 1867 (NGC MS 62), the very rare 1873 Closed 3 and 1877 (both NGC AU 58) and a lovely NGC MS 63 example of 1883 (mintage 900 pieces).

49er Collection of Proof Seated Dimes — 49er
Proofs represent the finest examples of the coiner's art, and United States proof coins were made in very limited quantities during the 19th Century. This collection is complete for all proof Seated Liberty Dimes 1858-91, the commencement year being that chosen by Wayte Raymond for his catalogs and National Coin Albums. The quality of these coins is superb throughout. Top-scoring entries include 1858 (NGC PF 67), 1859 (NGC PF 68 Ultra Cameo), 1866 (NGC PF 67 Ultra Cameo), 1874 Arrows (NGC PF 67), 1880 (NGC PF 68), 1883 (NGC PF 68 Cameo) and 1885 (NGC PF 69 Cameo). This is a truly memorable Registry set.

ALPHA ONE — Alpha Trilogy
The owner of this set is a true collector, a self-confessed obsessive whose passion is the soft-pack coins sold by the General Services Administration (GSA) during the 1970s, most of which were circulated or toned to some degree. Of the several dozen dates known in this format the present collection is lacking just a few to be complete. Some of the highlights in this set include 1878 7/8TF (NGC MS 62), 1878 CC (NGC MS 65), the scarce 1879 CC (NGC F 12), 1880 CC (NGC MS 64), 1884 S (NGC AU 58), 1893 CC (NGC VG 10) and the one-time key date Morgan Dollar, 1903-O (NGC MS 64). A pleasing introduction and nicely illustrated entries make for enjoyable viewing.

Best Modern Sets

The R.D.R. Collection Platinum Eagles M.S. — Bruce Laquster
The series of American Eagle Platinum bullion coins is now over 20 years old. Despite a lapse in production during 2009-13 and a subsequent discontinuance of the fractional coins, the non-proof issues still comprise several dozen coins. The collection presented here is complete, and all of the coins are NGC certified as MS 70, except the very rare 1998 P$100 issue (NGC MS 69). A mighty achievement, this collection's highlight is its 1997 P$100 certified as NGC MS 70, one of just 13 so graded.

RP100G — Stanislawski
This superb collection presents a complete run of Poland's gold 100 Zlotych coins 1995 to date, lacking just three entries. The series includes a wide variety of commemorative themes, as well as the familiar Golden Eagle design. The grades are uniformly quite high, with nearly all of the proofs NGC-certified as PF 70 Ultra Cameo. Among the standout entries are 1997MW Stefan Batory, 1998MW Zygmunt III Waza, 1999MW Zygmunt II August and 2000MW Jan II Kazimierz, all grading a spectacular NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo. These are splendid designs in the very finest condition.

Lodner's Top 50 — CRAMER
The set type is the Top 50 Most Popular Modern Coins, with a further explanation that it pertains exclusively to United States issues. All were issued between 1995 and 2011, and they represent a rich selection of types and denominations leaning heavily toward bullion coins. Among the highest scoring pieces are the 1997-W Jackie Robinson gold $5 (#4, NGC MS 70), the 1995-W 10th Anniversary Silver Eagle (#16, NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo), the 1999-W G$10 Eagle from unfinished proof dies (#23, NGC MS 70), the 2004-W P$100 Eagle (#32, NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo), the 2008-W G$50 Buffalo (#45, NGC MS 70) and the 2009 $20 gold Ultra High Relief (#50, NGC MS 70 Prooflike).

The Cherry Tree Collection Clad Set — erwindoc
It's now been 20 years since retirement of the Washington Quarter's original Eagle Reverse. Long ignored, the circulating copper-nickel-clad issues of 1965-98 have since revealed some great condition rarities. This top-notch set features a complete run of these pieces in superb grades. Standout rarities include 1968(P) NGC-certified as an amazing MS 68, as well as 1969-D, 1971-D and 1972-D, all likewise graded NGC MS 68. Other highlights include 1979(P) (NGC MS 68), 1983-P (NGC MS 67), 1985-P (NGC MS 68) and 1988-P and -D (both NGC MS 67). These are all coins worth just face value circulated, but here they are highly prized rarities.

Bertha's 1 Ounce Gold Buffalo .9999 Fine, Complete — BERTHA
The series of American Buffalo gold bullion coins goes back only to 2006, but this complete set of the one-ounce pieces already includes nearly three dozen entries. All are certified in the absolutely highest grades of 70 throughout and are nicely illustrated within their NGC encapsulations. As a bonus, nearly all are First Releases or Early Releases, and several feature colorful, limited-edition NGC labels. Top-scoring entries include the MS 2008-W, the PF 2008-W, the PF 2012-W and the 2013-W issues in regular PF and reverse PF editions.

Yuan Commemoratives 1980-Date, Mint State — 水真
This impressive collection holds First Place for its category, and it's easy to see why. The series of China's one yuan coins that commenced in 1980 now includes about four dozen pieces. Beginning with a standardized design, after 1984 the series depicts commemorative themes. Every coin is present in this collection, and the grades are consistently high. Important entries include the three 1984 People's Republic 35th Anniversary issues (all NGC MS 69), 1985 Tibet, an Autonomy of China (NGC MS 69) , 1988 Ningxia Autonomy (NGC MS 69) and 1988 People's Bank Anniversary (NGC MS 68).

ilLOminatus JP Silver 1000 Yen, 2002-Date, Proof — ilLOminatus
Though going back only to 2002 the series of Japan's commemorative silver 1000 yen coins is already quite extensive. This collection features a complete set of proofs 2002-17 in superb condition. The very few that are not NGC certified as PF 70 Ultra Cameo are a still impressive PF 69 Ultra Cameo examples. Many of the coins are attractive, colorized editions, and all are illustrated. Among the more important entries are 2002 FIFA World Cup, 2003 Asian Winter Games - Colorized, 2010 Aomori - 47 Prefecture Series - Colorized and 2015 Fishboat - Earthquake Reconstruction - Colorized (all NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo).

600 Baht MS/PF Talonpete Set 1 — Peter Ringquist
The theme of this set is a complete run of Thailand's silver 600 Baht coinage from the reign of King Rama IX. It spans 1980-2006, and the owner confesses to this being his favorite denomination. He has created a worthy tribute to this rich series of both MS and PF coins. Standout entries include 1982 Queen Sirkit's Birthday (NGC PF 68 Ultra Cameo), 1983 Thai Alphabet Anniversary (NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo), 1984 Princess Mother Birthday (NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo), 1986 Chulabhorn Awarded Medal (NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo), 1987 King Rama IX Birthday (NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo), 1990 World Health Organization (NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo) and 1992 King Rama IX Birthday (NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo).

Lyla's Purely Mint State — lajcoins
As stated there are no Proofs in sight, but this wonderful collection of Mint State coins is nearly complete for all Sacagawea/Native American Dollars 2002-18. The two 2016 issues are pending, likely so that the owner can match them to the high quality of the other pieces. Some of the top specimens are 2001-P (NGC MS 69), 2002-P (NGC MS 69 Prooflike), 2003-P and 2004-P (both NGC MS 69), and 2005-P, 2005-D, 2006-P and 2006-D (all NGC MS 68). Many of the coins are illustrated, and it's hoped that the owner will add photos of the remaining beautiful specimens.

Zoe 1oz. MS & PF — Arif
Everyone loves Pandas, or so it seems. This is the first place set in NGC's Registry Category "Gold 1 ounce or 30 grams Panda, 1982-Date, Mint State and Proof." A simply breathtaking collection, it is complete from the inception of the series through 2016. All of the coins are NGC-graded 69 or 70, except for the rarest piece described below. Outstanding entries include 1982 and 1983 (both NGC MS 69), 1987 (NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo), 1991 (NGC MS 70), the rare 1991 Piefort 10th Anniversary (NGC PF 68 Ultra Cameo), 1992, 1995 and 1996 (all NGC PF 69 Ultra Cameo) and 2000 (NGC MS 69).

Best Presented Sets

The Atlantic City Set of Jefferson Nickels – Lehigh96
This is a superb collection of Jefferson Nickels, Circulation Issues from 1938 through 1964. The owner's goal is to have the finest set in terms of overall attractiveness and, with just three pieces still lacking, that goal is within reach. The emphasis is on superb eye appeal, with colorful toning playing a large role. Each coin is quite well illustrated and comes with a detailed description; several are pedigreed to memorable other collections. As the owner states, "I want other top ranking competitors to fear my collection, novice collectors to envy it, and Jefferson haters to respect it."

The Mohawk Ottoman Empire Nickel 20 Para Collection Reborn! – Mohawk
Though a small set, comprising just seven entries issued 1908-21, the series is quite historic and challenging to collect. All but two of the coins are NGC certified as Mint State, making them significant condition rarities. This coinage represents the triumph of the "Young Turks" revolution that overthrew the Ottoman emperor. Made of nickel instead of the traditional silver, it signified the egalitarian nature of the new order. Each of these coins is well illustrated and accompanied by a detailed essay on it rarity and background.

Curacao 1900-1948, Complete Circulation Issues – coin928
There are about two dozen issues for the Dutch Caribbean colony of Curacao during the period covered, and this collection presently is complete for all but the two earliest pieces. Each is NGC certified, and most are Mint State. Particularly notable are the several coins struck during World War II by the Philadelphia and Denver Mints. Each entry includes excellent photographs and is accompanied by a detailed description of its design and other important features. The introductory essay is particularly informative, and it includes a very extensive list of sources.

Latest and Greatest – Cellgazer
This is a collection based on the popular book The 100 Greatest U. S. Modern Coins, First Edition. While a few entries are yet to be acquired, what makes this set so appealing is the amount of information provided for most pieces. Each commentary is an article in its own right, and collectively they transmit clearly the desirability of the subject coins. The introductory essay, though brief, tells a story all its own. The collector reveals that most of the coins were acquired uncertified, or "raw," and then sent to NGC for grading. The owner adds that "There were many surprises, both pleasant and not."

Pam's Peace – evilwoman13
Though comprising just 24 different issues, the complete set of circulating Peace Dollars is quite difficult to assemble in high grades. Presented here is the Number One ranking set in NGC's Registry, and the coins are absolutely superb. Some 16 pieces are "Top-Pop" coins in the NGC Census, including one of only two Peace Dollars certified by NGC as MS 68 (1924). The owner's enthusiasm for both the coins and their pursuit comes through plainly in the introductory essay and in the commentary for each date/mint. The photographs are absolutely wonderful, showing mostly untoned, blast white specimens.

Custom Sets

Best Overall Custom Set

Bruce Thomas Collection of So-Called Dollars and Other Medals – Bruce Thomas Collection
The title of this set pretty much describes it, but the owner further states that these medals "are a part of American History..." Indeed, they are, and the collection is very extensive, with 200+ entries. All are nicely illustrated, and most include interesting commentary by the owner regarding their history and rarity. The overwhelming majority are NGC certified, yet a few remain uncertified, or "raw." Dating primarily from the 19th Century, these pieces are truly a representation of American political, economic and social history, and all are highly collectible.

Best World Custom Set

World Coins 1959 – DRB59
In the words of its owner this is "a collection of coins from around the world showcasing the variety and artistic skill of mint workers." This is accomplished with a selection of coins dated 1959 arrayed alphabetically from Argentina to Yemen, all of them certified by NGC. Nearly all are quite nicely illustrated, with the vast majority grading Mint State or Proof. An interesting feature is that the owner has provided an extensive list of events from the year 1959, presented in order. Also included is a list of that year's Nobel Prize and Oscar winners! This is a fun and entertaining set that makes for great viewing.

Best Ancients Custom Set

Roman Emperor Portrait Coins – Me
This collection is an attempt to assemble portrait coins of all the Roman emperors from Julius Caesar to Anastasius I, though the owner acknowledges that completeness may not be possible. This amazing assemblage spans more than 550 years and 108 individuals. The set is already quite extensive, with all of the coins certified by NGC Ancients. They provide a very interesting portrait of the Roman Empire itself, and it's hoped that more of these splendid coins will be illustrated going forward.

Most Informative Custom Set

The U.S. Mint Goes to War – coin928
Inspired by an article published in Coin World, the owner of this set has the goal of obtaining one example of every coin struck by the U. S. Mint for other countries during World War II (1939-45). Some 187 in total (including a few 1946 issues for war-ravaged nations), the owner's goal of owning them all is presently halfway complete. Each piece is very well illustrated, with much detailed information about the coin and its historical context. An extremely informative essay on the U. S. Mint's production of foreign coins makes for a great article in itself.

Most Creative Custom Set

26 Centuries of Gold – deposito
The history of gold coinage is presented through more than two dozen specimens ranging from Ancient Greek issues to modern pieces struck as recently as 2009. This spans some 2600 years in total, without more than 100 years between each entry. Nearly all are NGC certified and of excellent quality. Though the commentary could be expanded, each coin is quite nicely illustrated. Collectively, they make a wonderful primer on world gold coinage going back to its earliest incarnation. The owner has a few more coins to add, and we look forward to the set's completion.

Overall Achievement

This collector has more NGC Registry sets than the present writer could count—a total of nearly 2.4 million Registry points! Not surprisingly, given the collector's handle, the most extensive sets are for coins of Russia, and these span several pages online. Also very impressive are the numerous sets of British coins, a testament to these two nations with their long and rich numismatic heritages. All of the coins are NGC certified, and a complete roster of them is enough to make any world coin enthusiast green with envy.

Fernando Baez Guerrero
Someone really loves coins! This is another collector who's interested in all areas of coinage, including many sets for both World and United States issues. Though the sets typically are not complete, the coins within them are still very appealing, and collectively they have racked up more than 2.4 million NGC Registry points. All are NGC certified, and the strongest representations seems to be in Cuba and the Dominican Republic, as these have the highest degrees of completion. Bravo!

This collector is focused on the coinage of South Africa under its several forms of government over the years, as well as that of its neighbor, the former Rhodesia. Most of the sets reveal a high level of completion, with many choice and gem coins that are NGC certified. An example is the set of Union of South Africa Proof Two-Shillings pieces, presently lacking only 1934 and 1936 to be complete. For a person interested in South Africa's coinage, viewing this collector's Registry sets is an absolute must.

A broad range of interest in United States coinage of the 20th and 21st Centuries is revealed by this collector, who also, however, dabbles in Morgan Dollars and China's popular Panda series. A random sampling of the many NGC Registry sets under this name reveals various degrees of completion. They also suggest moderns were discovered first and that interest in earlier issues developed from there, as the modern sets are the ones furthest along. A good example is that this collector's set of Mint State Modern Commemorative USA Half Dollars presently lacks just the 2017-18 pieces.

This collector reveals that an interest in coins began with the gift of a birth year proof set in early childhood. That has led to an abiding passion for worldwide type coin collecting, yet essentially complete sets of 20th Century USA copper, nickel and silver coins were built along the way. There are many highly specialized sets, such as a nearly complete assemblage of United States coins from the year 1860. Favorite coin series have resulted in sets of duplicates. This is truly a love affair with coins, and it's hard to not get caught up in the owner's enthusiasm.

Collectors' Journals

The Collectors’ Journal awards are our chance to highlight the great entries by our members. This area of the site is all about collectors sharing their passion for the hobby with each other. We’re proud to give this award to the collectors who have done an outstanding job of journaling their collecting experience.


Best in Category

And as always, we celebrate the Best in Category awards for the year.

A full review of the winners, including lists of the Best in Category winners can be found on our 2018 Awards Archive page.

Who won last year? Click here to view our 2017 Winners

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